The Road Safety Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and An Garda Síochána have launched a joint campaign aimed at reminding road users of the Rules of the Road when driving on Ireland’s motorway network.
Drivers are being reminded to always drive in the left lane for normal driving on a motorway and to familiarise themselves on the rules for joining and leaving a motorway.
It is an offence to stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway unless it is an emergency (ie a breakdown ). If this occurs, the driver should call for help using their mobile phone or one of the emergency roadside phones, and wait at a safe place, behind the crash barrier.
If a driver finds him/herself driving against the flow of traffic, pull in immediately to the hard shoulder and stop. Contact the Gardaí by dialling 999 or 112. Do not attempt to turn the vehicle. Wait for help in a safe place.
Sam Waide, Road Safety Authority CEO, says a key part of the government’s Vision Zero road safety strategy is safe road use.
"This includes educating drivers on how to use motorways safely and the danger of using them incorrectly. The higher speeds on motorways mean things can happen very quickly – a moment’s lapse of concentration could have severe consequences.
"If you are someone who does not drive on a motorway regularly, or if you only recently passed your driving test, you should consider taking a practice lesson on motorway driving with an RSA registered Approved Driving Instructor.”
Transport Infrastructure Ireland's CEO Peter Walsh says every day in Ireland thousands of people use the motorway network, and over recent years the length of motorways has more than doubled from 424km in 2008 to 995km in 2021.
"Motorways are the safest roads in Ireland. They are five times safer than rural two-lane roads. However, that does not mean they are risk free. Stopping on a motorway puts drivers, their passengers and other road users at great risk. The hard shoulder is an extremely dangerous place to be. Stopping on a motorway can cause collisions involving your own car and others. It’s unsafe and it’s an offence unless it is an emergency. It’s simply not safe to stop on a motorway.”
Motorists undertaking long motorway journeys are also reminded to take breaks at the motorway service stations located along the network.